Ideally, surgeons and anesthesiologists work together to motivate best possible outcomes for patients. But physicians separated by a surgical drape can sometimes have different perspectives about what it means to take good care of patients when things go wrong perioperatively. Anesthesiologists’ and surgeons’ capacity for collaboration and collegiality are critical to keeping patients safe. Decision making about airway plan implementation, whether and when DNR suspension is appropriate, coordinating communication about procedures’ risks and benefits, or a patient’s unexpected death prompts interesting, important, and neglected ethical questions about how we think about the scope of these different physicians’ expertise and authority.
In isolation, we are physically apart; in solidarity, we are together. The COVID-19 pandemic emphasizes our social responsibility to maintain physical distance from one another. In doing so, we solidify our collective strength.
AMA J Ethics. 2020;22(4):E344-345. doi:
Alice Wong and Dr Joseph Stramondo join us on this special episode of Ethics Talk to discuss how perspectives from the disability community can help us think more powerfully about quality of life, resource allocation, and other ethical challenges arising in pandemics. Transcript available.
In this special edition of Ethics Talk, Dr Uché Blackstock joins us to discuss COVID-19 morbidity and mortality outcomes inequity by race and what needs to change now and postpandemic. Transcript available.
Which are benefits of cross-training surgeons and anesthesiologists?
Due to poor communication during surgery, an error caused a patient’s postsurgical need for intensive care. What should the surgeons and anesthesiologists do?